“La Divina Commedia”: ceramic artist Lee Yun Hee

“Lee Yun Hee weaves Eastern and Western influences to offer a contemporary re-interpretation of both aesthetic and literary traditions, constructing a fantasy world that speaks of hope, strength and determination.

“Young ceramic artist Lee Yun Hee (b. 1986, South Korea) majored in Ceramics at both BFA and MFA levels at Seoul’s Hong Ik University. Lee calls herself a collector. What she collects are everyday stories of the common people, about their desires and wants, their fears and anxiety, and ultimately ‘the cure’ they seek to overcome the challenges and difficulties of life. There is much that she can relate to during her collections, for she is after all also human. Yet, it is not the hardships she clings to, but those ‘cures’ that each person resorts to. [. . .]

“Lee created her latest series entitled ‘La Divina Commedia‘ in 2013. Her inspiration came from Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy), the renowned 14th century epic poem by Italian poet and writer Dante Alighieri. The literary work recounts Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. In Lee’s contemporary take, the heroine of the story is a young girl who runs against all odds to overcome the trials and tribulations of life.” [. . .]   —Art Radar, August 11, 2015.

To view more of Lee’s ceramic artwork, you can visit her website.

Contributed by Anita Verna Crofts.

Cat Cafe, Seoul, South Korea

cat-cafe-seoul-south-korea

“Long hours at the office, tiny apartments and high stress levels are so characteristic of life in Seoul that the city’s motto might as well be ‘Abandon sleep, all ye who enter here.’ So it’s not surprising that Seoul residents keep thousands of coffee shops in business. The cafes allow tired masses to meet in a space that’s neither home nor work, taking time out from busy schedules to see friends and relax. While faceless chains are plentiful, a number of quirky theme cafes have sprung up, satisfying both the need for caffeine and the Korean passion for anything trendy, cute or both. Charming, whimsical and sometimes downright bizarre, these places embody a peculiarly Korean sensibility.” [. . .]

“About 20 cats of various breeds live in this scrupulously clean cafe. Cat lovers whose homes are too small to house a pet can spend time playing with and photographing the residents while enjoying their coffee.” [. . .]    –Nell McShane Wulfhart, The New York Times, January 5, 2012